I usually cringe a little when people ask if I am a food critic or restaurant reviewer because, honestly, I believe I am neither. I write a food blog, I tell tales, I share my experiences… I ramble on about what we ate and whether or not I liked it perhaps, but that’s all part of the story of the meal. I don’t claim to be the fountain of any knowledge. I am just a greedy girl who’s always hungry and likes to talk; and because it’s impolite to talk with your mouth full, this is the perfect place for me to do that talking.
There are plenty of other people out there who either are, or claim to be, food critics or restaurant reviewers, so there’s no need for me to join that ever-so-crowded bandwagon. I read a lot of what those people have to say; many because I respect their opinions, some purely because curiosity has got the better of me. However, one thing remains the same regardless of which category they fall into – I always take these reviews with a grain of salt because at the end of the day, it’s just their opinion. And my view is that no one’s word is gospel in this industry, no matter how well regarded they are.
2015 was not a good year for brunch and I; we kind of fell out of sync, we didn’t agree on certain things, it was like we were no longer compatible. While everyone was gushing over their #avocadotoast or #yolkporn on instagram, I was wincing at the thought of paying £10 for avocado roulette (ripe or not) or grumbling at the fact that one egg on half a muffin was becoming a normal portion size.
It just confirmed that I don’t like eggs or pancakes enough to warrant a special trip out for them, so sorry brunch, I’m just not that into you… I’ll move straight to lunch, thanks very much. But just before the year was out and the foodblogger police caught wind of my rebellion against the current it-girl of meals, there was a glimmer of hope for brunch and I, for which I have the Germans and my text message skim reading habits to thank.
Since we’ve been living in London, I’ve lost count of the number of times people have asked me what part of Australia I’m from. On most occasions I play the offended Kiwi, chastising them for daring to get our accents mixed up but honestly, it’s only because I love seeing the sheepish look on their faces. I’ll probably upset a lot of patriotic New Zealanders out there but that initial mix up doesn’t bother me that much. Obviously, I want to make it clear that I’m not actually an Australian, now or ever, and of course we are the better nation but their mistake is understandable.
There are a lot of us Kiwis and Aussies here so can you blame people for seeing us as one big bunch of jetsetting world wanderers with a can-do attitude and a thirst for booze?! Yes, wild generalisation but we can’t deny there’s some truth in the stereotype. I’m obviously proud to fly the Kiwi flag but I’ve never really got behind the rivalry… so what if their accents are annoyingly twangy and they are better at sports than we are? I’ve met some Australians I would never wish upon my worst enemy but I could probably say the same of some New Zealanders, so in the spirit of neighbourly love, let me introduce you to a likeable Aussie we met recently, his name is Alex.
There’s a restaurant that serves levitating cuisine? What does that even mean? Does the food float around? That’s going to be a bit ridiculous to eat…but maybe we could give it a go, I wonder how I book…
And there you have 10 seconds in the life of my food-obsessed mind. Obviously this is not a moment I am particularly proud of because really, who is silly enough to believe there’s such a thing as a levitating restaurant. In my defence we do live in a city where you can dine in the dark, sip your coffee with cats all over you, and eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner so why not food that floats? Is it too late to convince you that I’m not actually stupid…
Whoever invented brunch is my kind of person; that woman (or man) really understood the meaning of ‘weekend’. They knew that Saturday and Sunday mornings are for sleeping in and lazing about; sometimes nursing the hangover from the night before, other times just procrastinating and avoiding those pesky chores. They knew that by the time you’ve managed to get out of bed and make yourself look respectable you’re actually pretty hungry. In fact, if you’re anything like me, you’re rather starving. The thought of the weekday status quo of cereal or marmite (New Zealand, of course) on Vogels just doesn’t hit the right notes… you need something more, after all it is almost lunch time. And that’s where brunch comes in; you basically only need two meals in the weekend, and this is one of them.
Like the rest of the weekend, brunch is best savoured slowly. It’s the perfect time to catch up with friends you haven’t seen in ages, something which happens too easily in London, and share those dating disaster stories or tube rage rants. London has a plethora of great brunch places, but last weekend I decided to try something brand spanking new- Le Bun’s ‘Le Brunch’, as part of their month-long residency at Old Bengal Warehouse near Liverpool Street.